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Last Updated: Monday, 18 October, 2004, 05:08 GMT 06:08 UK
Chinese police on Haiti UN duty
Chinese police arrive in Haiti
A tough task lies ahead for the Chinese UN police team
A team of 95 Chinese riot police officers has arrived in Haiti as part of a UN peacekeeping mission.

The force, which includes 13 women, is to help train Haitian police to deal with crime and mob violence which has led to 50 deaths in recent weeks.

They join an advance team of 30 Chinese officers which arrived last month as well as more than 2,000 UN peacekeeping troops, led by Brazil.

It is China's first deployment for the UN in the western hemisphere.

The police, wearing black uniforms and blue helmets, went through a three-month training programme before arriving in Port-au-Prince.

Overstretched

"This is our country's obligation in safeguarding world peace," Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei told state television.

"China, being a responsible major country in the world, should play such a role."

China does not have diplomatic relations with Haiti because of the latter's support for the island of Taiwan, viewed by Beijing as an illegal breakaway state.

An overstretched UN peacekeeping team has found it hard to maintain order in Haiti, where violence has continued since the overthrow earlier this year of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Supporters of the exiled Mr Aristide have been accused by the US of stoking unrest and killing several policemen.


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